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international programs

Academic Policies

office of international programs

The Office of International Programs works closely with our partner institutions to ensure a seamless translation of the abroad academic experience back to Boston College, adhering to BC policy as much as possible. The policies listed below apply to students on both BC and external programs.

Beyond what is listed below, all students are subject to the academic policies of their host institution or program provider, including but not limited to: absence policies, academic conduct policies, and decisions regarding grades and credits. If you have any questions about your program’s specific academic policies, contact your OIP Advisor.

Course Load Abroad

As a BC student, you are expected to take a full load of courses at your host institution abroad. BC program participants can refer to the course load requirement table for guidelines, since what constitutes a full load may vary by program. External program participants expected to complete the equivalent of 15-16 US credits per semester.

All students will receive a maximum of 18 BC credits per semester upon evaluation of their transcript. Please note that BC will not award credit for non-academic courses, for example any food, wine, yoga, fitness, martial arts, chorus, or sports classes, or for personal or professional workshops, and will not list audited courses on your BC transcript.

Pass/Fail Courses

In accordance with BC policy:

  • students abroad can take a maximum of one pass/fail course per semester;
  • no business course can be taken pass/fail;
  • a pass/fail course cannot fulfill a BC major, minor, or core requirement;

If you wish to designate a course as pass/fail, send the title of the course to your OIP Advisor within two weeks of the first class meeting. Courses that are six weeks or less in length can be declared pass/fail within one week of the first class meeting. After a course is declared pass/fail, it cannot be changed back to a graded course. No grade changes will be made after the pass/fail request period has ended. Please note that courses must be taken for a grade, and OIP will mark your course pass/fail once we receive your transcript.

Withdrawing or Dropping Courses

Students are expected to enroll in and maintain a full course load, equivalent to 15-16 US credit hours for eachsemester abroad.  If you’re considering withdrawing from a course, you should be in touch with the OIP Academic Operations Administrator. You are also expected to follow the guidelines regarding withdrawals at your host institution; in some cases, withdrawals may not be permitted. 

Typically after the add/drop period allowed by the host institution, students who withdraw from a course will have a “W” recorded on the host institution’s transcript, which will be recorded to BC’s academic record.  Students will not be permitted to withdraw from courses after the deadline set by the host institution. Students should direct any questions regarding courses abroad to their OIP Advisor.